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Raider Recap: Richland loss puts playoff berth in jeopardy

Jack Daniel Primo Grills

LOCAL NEWS | Sports — Though both Moore County juniors Kyler Parker and Raider punter Bryson Dobbs had huge nights on Thursday, it wasn’t enough to get the Raiders a crucial regional road win in Lynnville. Moore County lost to Richland 20-14 in a sluggish battle being played a day early due to serve weather concerns.

The Blue Raiders headed into the game controlling their own destiny, securely in third place in Region 5 after last week’s home victory against Huntland. But the Raider’s loss at Richalnd plus Huntland’s surprising 35-7 win over Cornersville that same night have the Raiders post-season play looking uncertain. Now the Raiders must not only beat Region 5 opponent Mt. Pleasant next Friday but also hope Richland can defeat Huntland to keep the post season hopes alive.

Sluggish first half

The Raiders traded two sets of possessions before either made it into the red zone. With 5:30 remaining in the second half, Coach Dobbs switched into a spread offense. This allowed Tyler Smith to get two big runs and a first down. Then quarterback Brayden Cashion called his number to get a second first down. With time quickly expiring, Parker got crucial rushing yardage to the 25 yard line to get Smith in position to break into the red zone.

On first and goal, Parker scrambled in and scored on the first play of the second quarter. Chase Bradford’s PAT gave the Moore County Raiders a 7-0 lead. Richland answered on their next drive to make the score 7-7 with a little over six minutes to play in the first half.

Momentum then started to slowly shift Richland’s way. Moore County went three and out and Coach Dobb’s decided to play for field position. Bryson Dobb’s punt went deep into Richland territory and took a Moore County roll. A few plays later, Richland executed a fake punt on fourth down to keep the series alive. But the Raider defense held. Both sets of Raiders went into the locker room tied at 7-7.

Smith hits 1,000 yard mark

During halftime, Huntland led Cornersville. With the ante now upped, the Blue Raiders would need sustained drives and solid defense to get the W. The two teams again traded possession with each offensive and defensive line battling it out in the trenches. With a little under two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Richland earned first and goal before scoring on a fullback dive into the end zone to give them the 14-7 edge.

Moore County answered on the very next series. Parker and Cashion put together two first downs to get the Raiders around midfield as time expired. As the drive continued in the fourth quarter, Cashion threw a deep ball to Parker to snag another first down. Smith then ran along the edge to get Moore County in the red zone … setting up Cashion for a QB keeper score. Bradford’s PAT was good to tie the ballgame, 14-14.

The two teams then entered into a defensive stalemate, trading possessions and punts. Raider punter Dobbs kept Moore County in the game by helping them win the battle for field position. With 5:43 remaining, Richland’s Montel Bobbitt broke free for a 50 yard run into the end zone. Hayden Carter then blocked the PAT to give Moore County a shot at a game-winning drive.

The Blue Raiders kept possession for the final four minutes of the game with a sustained drive that allowed Tyler Smith to hit the 1,000 yard mark but wasn’t enough to win the game. Moore County lost 20-14.

Next week, they’ll head to Mount Pleasant (5-3 overall, 1-3 district) for a must-win game if they hope to keep post season play dreams alive. Senior Tiger QB Hayden Lovely’s putting up solid numbers this season with 637 yards and nine passing touchdowns and three rushing scores. On the rushing side, the Raiders will need to contend with a couple of effective Tigers. Senior Keshawn Hudson’s racked up seven rushing TDs including one 95-yard run and seven receiving scores. Fellow seniors AJ Busby and Markayne Foster have combined for over 1,500 all purpose yards. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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